Executive summary

Tāmaki Makaurau, a place desired by many, has been built from a rich Māori heritage. Today it has one of the most diverse populations globally, is the world’s largest Pacific village and home to large ethnic and migrant communities.

Ehara taku toa I te toa takitini, engari he toatakitini

Success is not the work of the individual but the work of many.

Three people and a child walking down a path.

Photo: Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei

Its workforce and industries have scope to benefit from employing and upskilling more people from these communities, alongside rangatahi, or youth, women, people with disabilities and ageing workers.

This report sets out an ambitious plan for workforce and skills development that delivers good skills, good jobs, good businesses, and ultimately, a good quality of life. Over the last year, the Tāmaki Makaurau RSLG has spoken with iwi/Māori, employers, unions, learners, industry organisations, whānau, educators, and government agencies. All have identified a lack of co-ordinated action at the regional level as a barrier to better labour market outcomes.

Many have committed to work with the RSLG to address this challenge – some drawing inspiration from the Tāmaki 10,000 strategy. One of the Group’s first decisions was to mandate Tāmaki 10,000 as the Māori workforce strategy for the region. The Tāmaki 10,000 strategy is a partnership between iwi, urban Māori and Māori providers which will see 10,000 whānau supported in their employment journeys.

This plan includes a range of actions over the short, medium, and long term with a focus on communities where there is scope to improve labour market outcomes. It also focuses on industries that are developing the workforce and skills that the region needs for the future.

These industries include

Construction and infrastructure

Mature construction worker peering through framing timber.

Photo: Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei

The report highlights the forward pipeline of regional work and provides certainty for investment in Construction and Infrastructure businesses, workforce, and skills development. In 2019, the RSLG partnered with Waihanga Ara Rau to bring together employers, industry, learners, workers and education providers for workforce and skills development. The priorities participants identified included local workforce development, education-to-employment pathways for rangatahi, or youth, increasing diversity, and technology up-skilling.

The strong forward workbook means that employers can recruit and invest in people, including training on new technologies that will reduce business costs. Regional partners will work together on co-ordinated pathways that make the most of on-the-job training investment, so that students can move seamlessly into apprenticeships from trades academies or pre-trades training.

Tāmaki Makaurau relies heavily on migrant workers to build its infrastructure. Professionals often bring experience not available locally and can support local workforce upskilling, and their skills will continue to be needed. At the same time, more can be done in the region to connect employers and graduates to tailored tertiary education offerings. Increasing competition for labour – including from emerging Māori and Pacific business owners - should see employers move away from casualised employment practices, particularly for the 30% of the workforce in labour hire (a higher proportion of which are Māori and Pacific workers), which has limited investment in vocational and professional development.

Community health, education and social services

Population growth is driving the demand for teachers and other educators, health and care workers, and community and social workers, many of whom are employed or funded by the public sector.

Health and care workers are already one of the region’s largest workforce, with demand for nurses and aged care residential workers outstripping employment growth across the region as whole. Aotearoa New Zealand’s reliance on offshore talent to fill acute shortages means that it now has the highest proportions of migrant doctors and nurses of any OECD country. The last 2 years have underscored the risk of this reliance, and urgent action is needed to attract, retain and train a sustainable workforce. The RSLG is supporting and amplifying regional leadership to immediately grow the nursing workforce, including the Nursing Pipeline Initiative, provider innovation (as evidenced in the COVID-19 response), and partnership with Toitū te Waiora on vocational provision. This report calls for action to recall nurses to the profession, increase migrant nurse attraction, address training bottlenecks, and introduce innovation to grow the allied workforce and their pathway options.

Services (featuring in-depth work on hospitality)

The RSLG is working with Ringa Hora on vocational training across the services industries, with a focus on COVID-19 workforce challenges, which have disproportionately affected the Hospitality sector. Hospitality brings locals and visitors together, and the highly seasonal sector has traditionally drawn from a willing and available working holiday and student visa workforce, alongside professional migrants such as chefs.

The sector’s Future Hospitality Roadmap acknowledges that the shape of the industry may have changed forever, and this report supports that view. The RSLG is supporting roadmap implementation, starting with action to understand and increase sector attractiveness for a range of local workers. The RSLG also supports the HospoCred (case study in chapter) programme which will allow candidates to find quality employers who are investing in developing their workforce.

Primary industries (featuring horticulture)

Tāmaki Makaurau is a national horticultural producer, with a quarter of all vegetables grown in the Franklin local board area. The industry directly employs people in sectors ranging from forestry and viticulture to fisheries and aquaculture and is home to head offices and a growing agritech industry. The RSLG will work with Muka Tangata, and education providers to continue workforce development and training to prepare for increased technology use and changing crop and production practices.

The Recognised Seasonal Employer workforce has been important for regional horticultural management and production, and closed borders were a challenge for these employers. The RSLG welcomes local action in Franklin and Rodney to improve pastoral care and industry practices, and notes opportunities to work in partnership with neighbouring RSLGs with shared employers.

Screen and creative industries

Person with film clapper board in forest in front of camera.

Photo: Auckland Unlimited

Tāmaki Makaurau is experiencing strong employment growth in screen, creative, and related digital technology sectors, notably post-production and gaming. The workforce is early in its development and remains characterised by contracted employment arrangements. This report sets out actions to increase secure and sustainable employment, including growing Māori employment and business leadership. The RSLG will support and provide insights to Toi Mai WDC as it develops regional training to meet workforce and industry aspirations.

Manufacturing, engineering, logistics and transport

The Tāmaki Makaurau RSLG will work with Hanga-Aro-Rau to better coordinate action to address workforce and skills challenges. This work will draw on insights from existing regional initiatives, such as Project Ikuna (Pacific workforce upskilling), truck driver training, and identifying and developing training for the skills needed for advanced manufacturing.

Connecting people to good jobs

The last section of the plan looks at smarter ways to connect people to good jobs and careers in a well-functioning labour market. It includes actions to match people to technology, and to grow green skills and jobs that support climate adaptation. It looks to a future for Tāmaki Makaurau where everyone has access to quality jobs, in more inclusive workplaces and industries, and support for transitions in and out of the workforce.

We invite you to join us, as we break down barriers and suggest new ways of building a prosperous region where no one is left behind.